SCALA NOVA (Turkish, Kuch Adassi):
Important city of Anatolia opposite the island of Samos; seaport of Ephesus. The oldest epitaph in the Jewish cemetery is dated 1682; but the town evidently had Jewish inhabitants in the thirteenth century, for in 1307 a number of Jews removed from Scala Nova to Smyrna, a similar event occurring in 1500. At the time of the expulsion from Spain 250 Jewish families went to Scala Nova; and a number of the local family names are still Spanish. In 1720 the plague reduced the number of families to sixty ("Meserit," v., No. 39); and Tournefort, who visited the city in 1702, found there only ten families and a synagogue ("Voyage au Levant," ii. 525, Paris, 1717). In 1800, when an epidemic of cholera caused many Jews to emigrate, there were 200 families in Scala Nova, and in 1865, when a second epidemic visited the city, there were still sixty-five families there. In 1816 Moses Esforbes was the chief of customs for the town, while Isaac Abouaf was city physician for several years, and Moses Faraji and Moses Azoubel were municipal pharmacists.
At present (1905) the Jewish population consists of thirty-three families, some of them immigrants from the Morea after the Greek Revolution of 1821. The majority are real-estate owners and have some vines; but the only mechanics are tinsmiths.
The synagogue, erected by Isaac Cohen in 1772, was rebuilt by Joseph Levy in 1900. The community likewise possesses a Talmud Torah, directed by a rabbi who officiates also as shoḥeṭ and ḥazzan. The gabel is enforced. A false charge of ritual murder was brought against the Jews about the middle of the nineteenth century; and a certain amount of anti-Semitism is generally manifested at Easter.